Category Archives: Amazon

From Agriculture to Art — the A.I. Wave Sweeps In

Description:Artificial intelligence is a technology of low-cost prediction and discovery. It exploits the new resource of the digital age — vast amounts of data — to identify patterns and make predictions. Much of what A.I. does today can be thought of as a prediction. What product to recommend, what ad to show you, what image is in that picture, what move should the robot make next — all are automated predictions.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Oct 21. 2018

This concept of A.I. as an engine of predictive decision-making is the main theme of a new book by three economists at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, “Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence” (Harvard Business Review Press). The authors, Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, argue that A.I.-powered decision-making is poised to alter virtually every industry. To explain, they start with an A.I. leader, Amazon. The online retail giant is constantly learning more and more about its customers’ buying habits and tastes, and the data is steadily improving the predictive power of its A.I. algorithms. read rest of story

Questions:
1.  What industry do you see AI making big inroads into? Why?

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How UPS delivers faster using $8 headphones and code that decides when dirty trucks get cleaned

Description:  Inside EDGE: the shipping giant’s ambitious, tech-driven bid to keep Amazon and others at bay.

Source: MIT Technology Review

Date: Feb 16. 2018

UPS workers make dozens of decisions every day, and the wrong ones—from placing a box on the wrong conveyor belt inside a processing facility to loading it onto the incorrect delivery vehicle—could keep you from getting your packages on time.

Avoiding those mistakes, and doing so efficiently, is key to the company’s survival. The boom in e-commerce means UPS now delivers as many as 31 million packages a day. Keeping track of all that is an immensely difficult problem. It’s made worse because fulfilling online orders often requires driving to far-flung residences. That is more expensive for UPS than delivering to businesses, where drivers typically can leave and pick up multiple packages at each stop. read rest of story

Questions:
1.  What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?

2. What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?

An auto’s data may soon be more valuable than the car itself

Description:  People have made fortunes selling cars and trucks. For many of us, a car is the second most expensive thing we’ll ever buy. But experts say the value of vehicles will likely pale in comparison to the riches from our cars’ data.

Source: CNN.com

Date: Feb 7, 2017

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“Data is the currency of the digital age,” said Jim Barbaresso, who leads Intelligent Transportation Systems at HTNB. “Vehicle data could be the beginning of a modern day gold rush.”The gold rush analogy is a common one, made by everyone from Barbaresso to the CEO of Daimler. Here’s why there’s so much potential:

Cars increasingly have sensors and cameras to track their performance and their surroundings. Vehicle sensors, for example, can better tell when an engine part is in need of replacement. A back-up camera doesn’t just help us park, it can tell how many pedestrians or vehicles are on a block.

These sensors generate data, which can be analyzed to make money. (If you doubt the way data can be turned into money, just look at the success of Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB, Tech30). They offer free services to billions, and make a fortune off the data they collect.)

 READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. Why will car data be worth as or more than the actual self-driving car?

2.  Who should benefit or accrue the benefits of the data that your car collects?  Explain

‘Frightful 5’ of Tech Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future

Description:There’s a little parlor game that people in Silicon Valley like to play. Let’s call it, Who’s Losing?

Source: nytimes.com

Date: Jan 20. 2016

There are currently four undisputed rulers of the consumer technology industry: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, now a unit of a parent company called Alphabet. And there’s one more, Microsoft, whose influence once looked on the wane, but which is now rebounding.

So which of these five is losing? A year ago, it was Google that looked to be in a tough spot as its ad business appeared more vulnerable to Facebook’s rise. Now, Google is looking up, and it’s Apple, hit by rising worries about a slowdown in iPhone sales, that may be headed for some pain. Over the next couple of weeks, as these companies issue earnings that show how they finished 2015, the state of play may shift once more.   read rest of story

Questions:
1.  Does this narrative of the tech industry give you positive view of of tech development going forward ?  why or why not?

2.   “Tech people like to picture their industry as a roiling sea of disruption”    Do you agree with this statement, why or why not?

Your auto’s data may soon be more valuable than the car itself

Description:  People have made fortunes selling cars and trucks. For many of us, a car is the second most expensive thing we’ll ever buy. But experts say the value of vehicles will likely pale in comparison to the riches from our cars’ data.

Source: CNN.com

Date: Feb 7, 2017

170127191227-car-data-value-780x439

“Data is the currency of the digital age,” said Jim Barbaresso, who leads Intelligent Transportation Systems at HTNB. “Vehicle data could be the beginning of a modern day gold rush.”The gold rush analogy is a common one, made by everyone from Barbaresso to the CEO of Daimler. Here’s why there’s so much potential:

Cars increasingly have sensors and cameras to track their performance and their surroundings. Vehicle sensors, for example, can better tell when an engine part is in need of replacement. A back-up camera doesn’t just help us park, it can tell how many pedestrians or vehicles are on a block.

These sensors generate data, which can be analyzed to make money. (If you doubt the way data can be turned into money, just look at the success of Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB, Tech30). They offer free services to billions, and make a fortune off the data they collect.)

 READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. Why will car data be worth as or more than the actual self-driving car?

2.  Who should benefit or accrue the benefits of the data that your car collects?  Explain

Tech’s ‘Frightful 5’ Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future

Description:There’s a little parlor game that people in Silicon Valley like to play. Let’s call it, Who’s Losing?

Source: nytimes.com

Date: Jan 20. 2016

There are currently four undisputed rulers of the consumer technology industry: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, now a unit of a parent company called Alphabet. And there’s one more, Microsoft, whose influence once looked on the wane, but which is now rebounding.

So which of these five is losing? A year ago, it was Google that looked to be in a tough spot as its ad business appeared more vulnerable to Facebook’s rise. Now, Google is looking up, and it’s Apple, hit by rising worries about a slowdown in iPhone sales, that may be headed for some pain. Over the next couple of weeks, as these companies issue earnings that show how they finished 2015, the state of play may shift once more.   read rest of story

Questions:
1.  Does this narrative of the tech industry give you positive view of of tech development going forward ?  why or why not?

2.   “Tech people like to picture their industry as a roiling sea of disruption”    Do you agree with this statement, why or why not?

Cloud Business Lifts Amazon’s Profit to a Record

Description: Helped by its fast-growing Amazon Web Services business, the company jumped to the most profitable quarter in its nearly 22-year history.

Source: NYTIMES:COM

Date: April 28, 2016

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Amazon often flip-flops between showing profits and losses, depending on how aggressively it decides to plow money into big new business bets. Investors have granted the company much wider leeway to do so than other technology companies of its size often receive, because of its history of delivering outsize growth.

For the first quarter, which ended March 31, Amazon reported net income of $513 million, or $1.07 a share, up from a loss of $57 million, or 12 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue at the company rose to $29.13 billion from $22.72 billion a year ago.

Amazon’s share price jumped more than 12 percent in after-hours trading after the results were released. Investors were happy to see the company show profits after the disappointing run of reports from Apple, Google, Microsoft and Intel.

“The fact that they’re profitable is a big deal,” said Christian Magoon, chief executive of Amplify Investments, a fund manager that counts Amazon as a top holding. “It’s more of a big deal after some of the disappointing numbers from Apple and others.”  Read Rest of Story

Questions:
1.  What is making Amazon more profitable now?

2. ” Amazon is the rare technology company of its size to still deliver double-digit revenue growth.”  Do you feel that AWS can keep them profitable going into the future  Why or Why Not?